Our Little Lady
This is one of the approximately thirty books by Emily Holt about life
in the Middle Ages. The language of the book is basically English as
we would understand it, strongly flavoured with words and phrases from
the Middle Ages. The other thing that comes across strongly is how
different the attitudes to life were in those days.
Avice, one of the elder women in the book, tells the story of how she
had become a nursery-maid in the Royal Palace, first at Windsor, and
then later at Westminster. One of the princesses she had to look after
was a most beautiful child, but had been born deaf and dumb. She had
various gestures with which she communicated, but the sadness was, that
they never could teach her to pray. Yet they were sure she spoke to
Christ in her own way. The poor child died young. This all took place
at the end of the thirteenth century, hence the six hundred years of the
Emily Sarah Holt, 1836 to 1893.
There doesn't seem to be much information easily available about Emily Sarah Holt. She is not mentioned in "The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature". She wrote about fifty books, mainly for children, and published over a rather short period of her life. Most of her books could be classified as Historical Novels.
I have an impression from snatches I have read that she lived in a rather upper middle class part of London, which we would call today "South Kensington". It may be significant that she died in 1893 for there was a major flu epidemic that year, which lasted a couple of years after that.
Somebody wrote recently that second-hand copies of her books in good condition are in short supply because her readers a hundred years ago and more so much loved reading their copies that they "read them to bits". This may be a bookseller's hype, but there must be a grain of truth in it. It may well also be true of all the authors we present on, or in conjunction with, the Athelstane website.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the ZIP file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF and TXT in it, and click on FTP. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to read the book using yBook. To create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3, download the ZIP file and unpack it. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for creating audiobooks.
Uploaded by Nick Hodson on